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Hirokazu Yasuhara revealing all kinds of Sonic development stuff

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TimmiT, May 22, 2017.

  1. XCubed


    Will Someday Own a Rent-A-Center Oldbie
    Speaking of which, wasn't a zone slated to catch fire? Obviously this was reused for Angel Island Zone.

    Hell, they had enough material to work with to have at least 4 or 5 Sonic Games during that time, however, they out did themselves with S3&K and called it a day until Sonic Adventure. Sorry, but everything else during that time was crap, including Sonic 3D and Sonic R. Those were an absolute waste of talent that could have been used elsewhere, with Sonic R being the better of the two. Both also made me quite sick, so I may be heavily biased.
  2. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    ICEknight's right on the nose. Forget all of this "but I want to beliiieeevve!" nonsense. Let's stick to the facts. New information with unquestionable authenticity that contradicts old info doesn't mean that the new info is invalid, it means that what we previously thought was invalid.

    You can't argue with the concept art drawn a quarter of a century ago. The biological meatsacks we call "brains" are infamous for poor retention of information, let alone all the other problems humans have such as irrational thoughts and behaviors.

    Not to sound too rude, but I must say it: get serious or get out. Even with this giant new reveal, it's still hard to piece this stuff together. Don't make it worse by tossing invalid info into the mix.
  3. Glaber


    Has Beaten Sonic Genesis for GBA Oldbie
    I think it's also safe to assume it's also our faults for any of the Dust Hill desert results google gave Yasuhara if he did google it.

    Not to go off topic, but everything we discovered and realized so far, thanks to the concept art, has got me thinking about the Credits tune, Oil Ocean's absence, and if the stage order in the tune had any connection.

    So I decided to dig a little into the the Credits tune. And the first thing I find is that the stage order in the credits is scrambled here.
    The order matches none of the stage select screens we have access to, and Sonic 1's Credit zone order matches its Stage Select order.

    So then I noticed something else after I made my list. All the stages that are in the credits, are the same ones that are active in the Simon Wai Sonic 2 beta.

    As of right now it's unknown when the credits tune was made as the earliest beta I found it in was beta 4. Comparing my list to the Simon Wai level select it would seem that it would have had to have been made between the Simon Wai beta, and Beta 4.

    Oil Ocean, at the point the credits music was made, may have still been using the BGM it had in the Simon Wai Beta, suggesting not just that it was still useing the 2P Casino Night tune, but also that maybe Wood Zone was still being worked on at that point. (A dev did mention flowers in Wood zone at one point, so could be.) The only 2 stages that had no music assigned in the Simon Wai beta were Genocide City and Death Egg, and if they still weren't assigned music by the time the credits music was made, it would explain their absence too. (Sky Chase and Wing fortress would be missing for obvious reasons)
  4. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    He must have, since he replied with a link to a video with a "Dust Hill" hack. He couldn't have found it, otherwise.
  5. Montblanc


    At least in my case I don't "want to believe" anything, I already said DHZ can be something different from that mockup if it's what you mean.

    And by the time a build pointed Dust Hill to Mystic Cave it also had evidence that the map can't be 100% true anymore.

    It's also impossible for MCZ to be under GHZ since in the map for the DHZ time period that chunk of island is gone, together with other zones. When I pointed people guessed the extensive mining emptied it so I guess MCZ is under the entire island.

    But if you want to keep calling DHZ MCZ for convenience I don't care anymore.

    By the way the small drawings in the timeline show the... death egg? dissapearing from the mountains at some point. And the small island drawings have the holes I pointed before.
  6. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    I wasn't directing that at anyone in particular, just in general to anyone who still clings to the inaccurate statements made in old interviews. I was talking about calling the desert level "dust hill" more so than anything else.
  7. TheKazeblade


    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    All of this information has been super fascinating, but what really is interesting to me is how little of the original vision ultimately made it to fruition.

    Cutting room floor happens to all games, I know, but even the retail version of Sonic 2 showed signs of being rushed (Hill Top Zone's glitchiness, Super Sonic sign post glitch, etc.).

    We've known Sonic 2's development was filled with creative (and possibly even racial based on some accounts) issues, but this plus the amount of content obviously still in the "possible" category as late into the game's development as mid-1992 considering it launched November of 1992, the fact that a cohesive anything was a result, much less a genuine classic game is pretty mind-bogglingly impressive.

    Now, somewhat educated but also somewhat baseless theory time:

    I think the zone we know as Hidden Palace was actually intended to be Rock World Zone and Aquatic Ruin was never really Neo Green Hill but Olympus; they simply were occupying level slots that were incorrectly named.

    •Basic one first: Aquatic Ruin Zone being Olympus is extremely straight forward: You can't ignore the Greco-Roman architecture in the map is directly associated with Aquatic Ruin's. It's too obvious not to be the case. As stated above, I think that Aquatic Ruin/Olympus was simply occupying the level slot of an already-jettisoned Neo Green Hill Zone. Why? Because the time travel mechanic had already been dropped by the time of the earliest compiled build that we know of. I think the dev team already knew early on that the scope of the time travel concept was too lofty a goal to accomplish within the limitations they had in the timeframe they were given. They simply utilized the now-unoccupied level slot and had not gotten around to changing the name yet.

    •Now for the hardcore conspiracy theory: Hidden Palace Zone is ACTUALLY Rock World Zone.

    •The Simon Wai beta was compiled sometime in mid-1992. As we've seen from this newly revealed information from Yashura, Sonic 2's development went from very vast in scope to relatively bare-bones over a very short amount of time. I believe the Simon Wai beta is a snapshot of the game's development at a moment of intense flux; levels nowhere near to done were being scrapped and redundant level ideas tethered to the time travel mechanics were also being dropped due to becoming redundant within the scope of the new, non-time travel narrative. In the scope of this theory, I believe the zone originally intended to be known as Hidden Palace never was implemented in a build of Sonic 2.

    •I believe that Rock World Zone, due to being further along in development, as well as its theme of minerals and stone, was hastily re-implemented into Sonic 2 as the zone Sonic would travel to after obtaining all 7 Chaos Emeralds; completing the zone would reward the player with Super Sonic. My reasoning for this? The first is simply due to the fact that the level we know as Hidden Palace in no way, shape or form resembles a palace or a dwelling of any kind in any way. The second is simply because the correct music, confirmed to be Mystic Cave 2P's music, in no way feels tethered to a theme of magic or mysticism as one would assume would be utilized in either a time travel or ascension scenario.

    •While Hidden Palace was shown to press and some public early on, I don't think it debunks the idea that the zone was intended to be Rock World Zone but never made it far enough in development to receive it's corrected name.

    End somewhat educated but also somewhat baseless theory time.
  8. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    I wonder if it's plausible that art assets got recycled and shifted around, we already know this happened with the badniks, and there are countless examples of this happening in other games' development cycles.

    ARZ could have been Olympus, who knows? It could also have been just Neo Green Hill Zone with any little work actually done for Olympus being recycled there after it was cut.

    I don't think we can take what we see in the actual builds too seriously in regards to these early plans.

    Take a look at Doom's original design document. By the time the 0.4 alpha rolled around, it was already heavily cut down. Originally, it was to have streaming (yes, streaming, in 1993) maps, a seamless world. Puzzles, characters, etc. Tom hated working on the game, because all of this was killed off, making the project into a shallow hull of what it was once meant to be. The rest of the team was fighting him to turn it into yet another simple action game, and the game was shaping up really badly in some attempt at compromise, until they finally let him go and recycled the hell out of everything, conforming the assets they made to a totally new, streamlined design.

    Quake was originally meant to be a melee combat focused game, but the engine took so long to get to a playable state, everyone making content couldn't actually put it into a game until the engine was ready. The design was also very unclear, so everyone made very different content from one another. It was such a mess that by the end of it they were like "fuck it, we're making it a shooter", recycling the content to fit the new design. The plot was rewritten to be about interdimensional travel between different realms, to compensate for the vastly different level themes. And then Romero got fired.

    Also look at Deus Ex, quite a similar thing happened with Doom and Quake, minus the whole lead designer getting fired part. Half-way through, they redid the design doc, cutting anything they hadn't produced yet, keeping the assets they had already made but reworking them to fit together so that the plot made sense.
  9. minichapman


    I'd like to think I'll be imparting words of wisdo Member
    United Kingdom
    Staying sane.
    While it's very possible that this was the case. Rock World Zone sounds a little too (I can't think of the word so I'm gonna say) dumb or dopey. It's highly possible that they themselves didn't like the name early on and decided to change it.

    It also isn't the first time that name changes happened. We have evidence of both Clock (W)ork Zone and Sparkling Zone from Sonic 1 becoming Scrap Brain Zone and Spring Yard Zone. Although I have no idea what a 'Scrap Brain' is supposed to be.
  10. Well, regardless of the vague 'evidence' we have I'm willing to bet (sportsman's bet) that Dust Hill is the zone with the desert, cacti etc in the mock ups, and possibly a different time zone for Green Hill. The name alone is all the proof I need. Unless a developer flat out says it's not.

    If it turns out down the line that I'm wrong, you can all call me names and throw rotten vegetables at me ;)
  11. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    How about materials made by the devs themselves at the time, such as the concept art this entire thread is about? Paper is far better at retaining information than human brains are, so it doesn't even matter what any devs say if it contradicts the concept art.

    Down the line? You're already incorrect, so...

  12. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    If Dust Hill Zone was the original name of Mystic Cave, surely at least one of the developers would've remembered this fact? It makes no sense for it to have been the name used for most of the games development and yet none of the developers remember it. When presented with an option of both Mystic Cave, and a desert zone, the developers explicitly point at the desert zone rather than Mystic Cave.

    If we stick to what we actually have, it seems unlikely that Mystic Cave is Dust Hill. I stand by my theory:

    Olympus is featured in the original concept - the level slot for Aquatic Ruin exists after the expected place of Genocide City, suggesting it was either part of an (unpictured) fifth 'area' featuring Neo Green Hill Zone, or added after all of the featured zones. This doesn't fit with Olympus' position in the maps, so it would make absolutely no sense to find Aquatic Ruin in this slot if Aquatic Ruin was Olympus.

    The time travel 'mechanic' was never dropped because it was never a mechanic; it was a story explanation for the zone choices.


    Don't see a cave there...
  13. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    Here's the thing; I have no clue what Dust Hill was intended to be at this early stage. I'm having trouble making much sense of any of this, actually. All I am saying is that we know enough now that Dust Hill was probably not the name of the Desert level, Sand Shower more than likely was.

    Despite how "fitting" the name may seem (and yes, it is befitting of a desert), this is the team that thought "Genocide City" was a good level name, or that "Scrap Brain" made any sense. This is the same team that had difficulties with their American coworkers due to the language barrier. They probably also didn't take the names too seriously.

    There's also the fact that the concept art has an unambiguously desert-like name that was not Dust Hill (which is also listed as its own level, far away from the desert's location, and in Green Hill's location), placed in the same location as the "rock zone" we've known about for years as the past form of the desert level. There is far more evidence against Dust Hill being the desert level than in favor of it.
  14. Glaber


    Has Beaten Sonic Genesis for GBA Oldbie
    Also, as a Reminder, no one contacted any of the devs unill after we as a fandom made the connection of the Dust Hill name to the Desert Zone without any evidence to back us up. Argue all you want about devs remembering what they worked on after all these years. Their brains can remember things wrong too. Just like us, they need reminders, especially considering that between 1992 and the first time we contacted them they've been working on other projects that would have been fresher on their minds.
  15. Dehry


    The whole "Cut Level" idea would mean that somewhere between Nick Arcade and Simon Wai, a desert level given the name Dust Hill Zone was added and cut in a later one. If someone has this beta, I think the entire forums would love to see it.
  16. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    Can someone PLEASE stablish the zone parallels with Sonic 3?

    I mean, Hidden Palace is a warp point that can be accessed at any level on Sonic 3 and Knuckles!

    Tropical Plant <-> Mushroom Hill
    Sand Shower <-> Sandopolis
    Olympus <-> Sky Sanctuary
    Warp Point <-> Hidden Palace
    Woods <-> Angel Island
    Metropolis <-> Flying Battery
    Blue Lake <-> Azure Lake
    Genocide City <-> Chrome Gadget
    Casino Night <-> Carnival Night

    And so on. If we compare the concept art we'll see more connections.

    I also believe these maps are from an earlier version of the game, in which the cave area wasn't really planned.
  17. Kat


    I did a bit of this a few years ago (reference). I'm hoping that someday the full set of color test concept art will be revealed (with original labels still intact).
  18. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    It's because of that post that I made the suggestion :D
  19. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Well, Mystic Cave is an underground mine so you won't see it on the surface...

    What you can see as its landmark is that half the place seems to have collapsed, like mines do when there's an accident.

    You say that there were two desert levels, but Dust Hill is in the grassy area. Also, the developers always talked about there being one desert level with Brenda being in charge of its art.
  20. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    But you can't have a 'island with a cave drawing' as described on jam without a dark entrance.